WEC Group’s very own "Welding Superstar" to represent the UK at WorldSkills Kazan 2019

Tyler Atkinson, the “Welding Superstar” from Darwen-based WEC Group Ltd, has officially been announced to represent the United Kingdom in Construction Metal Work at the ‘skills olympics’ held later this year in Kazan, Russia.

Tyler, welding/fabrication apprentice aged 19 from Blackburn, was first identified for Team UK selection following his success at the regional and national WorldSkills UK competitions in 2017 where he was able to secure a silver medal in the UK Construction Metal Work event, narrowly missing out on the top spot of the podium to one of his fellow older WEC Group apprentices.

Tyler had also attended the competition the previous year and returned with a highly commended score, showing great consistency and perseverance in his hard work. Since first entering the competition 4 years ago, WEC Group Ltd has had an impressive track record of getting its students through to the national finals and apprentices from the company have already won 7 medals including 3 golds.

Kris Mercer, WEC Group Training and Development Manager and Master Welding Instructor commented: “We are extremely proud of what Tyler has accomplished. This is a huge achievement for him and it’s a tribute to the investment by WEC Group in our apprenticeships and training frameworks, as well as the effort put in by the Tyler himself. After two years of hard work, Tyler’s selection for Team UK is very well deserved.”

Simon Jordan, Director of Themis at Burnley College where Tyler is enrolled added: “Congratulations to Tyler on his exceptional achievement. To reach the finals of WorldSkills in Russia is a momentous achievement and reflects his skills, knowledge and his determination to be the very best. Themis Apprentices continually strive to improve and to make a real difference in the workplace, combining training from our industry-leading team and vital workplace experience. Tyler is a shining example of what can be achieved through an Apprenticeship and has a successful career ahead of him: he is a true inspiration for other Themis Apprentices.”

Since his medal win two years ago, Tyler has been attending various bootcamp sessions, events and competitions as well as Master Classes at the WEC Group Training Academy in order to fight for his place in the final Team UK and go on to compete globally in Kazan. His latest final assessment saw him making sparks fly in a head to head competition with a talented Finnish medal winner at Dudley College, West Midlands.

Andy Whitehouse, the WorldSkills UK Expert for Construction Metal Works who mentored Tyler over the past 2 years said: “I am really pleased with Tyler’s progress over his initial training phase, he is now ready to step up to the International standard. He has a very tough final training plan ahead of him, which will work him hard and keep him focused. If he sticks to the plan and keeps doing what we have been doing then good things should happen. We have a potential gem here with Tyler”.

Tyler has also recently been featured on BBC North West Tonight and BBC Radio Lancashire in light of his fantastic accomplishment. He is now due to attend a ceremony of celebration in London at the House of Commons with his fellow Team UK competitors from other various disciplines including everything from Hairdressing to Joinery.

We are incredibly proud of Tyler’s achievements and would like to wish him all the best in the upcoming competition in Russia and flying the flag for the UK!

Tyler's recent BBC interview can be watched below or on the BBC Website

Tyler Atkinson | World Skills 2019 | BBC North West Tonight Evening News | 26/02/2019 from WEC Group Ltd